We want our kids to love God and the church as much as we do. But when we force-feed faith, especially to teenagers, they can wind up resenting the church and losing interest in Christ. Author, mom, and pastor’s wife Kristie Anyabwile shares how she’s learned to take a step back, giving her teens space to choose the Lord for themselves while providing spiritual opportunities that fit each child uniquely.
- Don’t try to force feed your teenagers into faith; cultivate their hearts, provide opportunities, and ask good questions.
- Do what works for your family to grow spiritually together, and do what works for each individual child to grow.
- When you feel fear or a need to control, take it to the Lord. It likely has nothing to do with your children, but something in you that needs addressing.
“We don’t want church and church activity to feel forced, to feel like something they have to do. We want to cultivate in them a desire to do it. Certain things are non-negotiable, like worshiping together. But as far as the life of the church, be intentional about finding ways to give your children freedom in terms of how much they want to participate. I think as parents, a lot of times we think, ‘They’re kids, they’re in my house, whatever we do, they’re doing.’ Then we cart our kids around so much, they start to resent church and church activity.”
“Faith doesn’t come by force feeding. It comes by the work of the Spirit and the heart. Whether that heart is a little heart that’s 5 years old, or whether that heart is a teenager or older. So we cultivate hearts and we want the habits to be such that their hearts are tuned towards it, not bent against it.”
LINKS FROM THE SHOW
His Testimonies, My Heritage
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